From the Archives: Mataios, Aniaros, and Oraios Part 1

In case you wanted to marvel at my terrible childhood short stories, I hereby present the next installment of “From the Archives”, Greek Mythology edition. As always, hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve included some comments at the end.


It was not long after the tragedy of Adonis’ death, but Aphrodite already loved another. While riding in her swan-drawn car, she happened to see a handsome young man hunting. At once she fell in love with him.

This was not surprising, for the young man, a boy named Mataios, was extremely handsome. A muscular hunter he was, with golden-brown hair and green eyes. He was not only strong but swift and his skill in hunting was talked of in all the towns nearby. Not only handsome and skilled, he was charming, causing all the girls to love him. He was a perfect man, except for one thing. He was vain. All of the praise he received caused him to boast, and he thought of himself as the best. Little did he know that vainness was to be his downfall.

When Aphrodite saw this charming young man in the woods, she disguised herself as a beautiful maiden, with golden hair and sea-grey eyes, and went down to confront him. As soon as he saw her the young man fell madly in love with Aphrodite. Aphrodite approached the young man and asked his name. He answered, “Mataios, fair lady. You see before you Mataios, best hunter, cleverest man, and the most handsome of my entire village, if I may say so myself.”

“Mataios, you are indeed handsome. I shall have you for a lover,” Aphrodite replied. She was so blinded by his beauty and charm she overlooked his vainness and boastful speech. She cast off her disguise of young mortal girl and revealed herself as Aphrodite: “You see before you Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty and Violet-Crowed Cytherea. Come with me to my island were we will stay together!” Mataios willingly agreed. The true Aphrodite was even more beautiful than any shape she could have taken. However, jealous Hera had been watching this from Mount Olympus. She, too, loved Mataios. “There must be a way to separate them,” she murmured to herself.


Comments:

  • This was an assignment for English class in sixth grade. I don’t remember what the requirements were exactly, but we were studying Greek mythology so I suppose the goal was to write a story involving the gods. This one mostly concerns Aphrodite, Hera and Hephaestus.
  • So, “vainness” is not really a word. That should be vanity.
  • The description of Mataios in pp 2 is…awkward. I think I was going for fairy-tale syntax and overdid it a little bit.
  • I was always really fascinated by the interpersonal relationships between the gods, so I’m not surprised I centered the story around them.
  • The Aphrodite-Hephaestus issues (more prominent in the latter parts of the story) are a large feature of the mythology. I’m not sure if there’s as much support for Hera-Aphrodite jealousy; it’s been a while since I read the stories and I wouldn’t count myself an expert. Then again, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena all competed for Paris so maybe I wasn’t pulling this out of thin air.
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